Convention Centre a winner for Vanuatu; China Exim Bank forgives Vt0.9B loan for Air Vanuatu; Vanuatu joins OECD Common Reporting StandardPosted: May 14, 2016
As a convention centre in the Small Island Developing States of the Pacific, the Vanuatu facility opened yesterday has to be regarded as something fairly special. With its 1,000-seat auditorium, and 200-seat press conference space and restaurant able to cater for 600, Prime Minister Salwai rightly acknowledged the opportunity the centre has to bring more international meetings to Vanuatu when it is fully functional. Chinese Ambassador Liu Quan handed over the facility yesterday. Work was delayed owing to Cyclone Pam.
Daily Post today reports Government converting a Air Vanuatu loan “into liquidity” and another totaling Vt 900 million with the EXIM Bank of China for the two Y12 aircraft after discussions with China that the loan be forgiven. This was announced after a visit of Finance Minister Pikioune to the airline and Air Vanuatu agreeing to a private partnership arrangement that will maintain the government’s major shareholder arrangement but enable restructuring operations to cut costs. Restructuring has already enabled the airline to reduce staff numbers from 540 to 380 over the last six months. The airline is planning to relocate all its activities at the Port Vila airport in the near future.
Vanuatu has agreed to accept an OECD Common Reporting Standard for tax information, Daily Post reports today. It will enable information sharing on the basis of a single common standard developed by the OECD and endorsed by the international community. The information exchange is automated. Vanuatu still faces significant challenges from the OECD, but the agreement is considered as “a sign the government is moving in the right direction.” (Daily Post)
The company Dinh Van Tu Enterprises has been awarded a contract to concrete the road from Beverly Hills to Freshwota 5. This is where the Beverly Hills road meets the main road. Construction has been approved by the Public Works Ministry. (Daily Post)
And Minister for Public Infrastructure, Jotham Napat, has just received updated nautical charts for seven ports of call from the UK Hydrographic Office. Vanuatu funded four of the studies and the SPC paid for the survey work on all 7. The UKHO contributed significantly.